Landbank exploring property options

A federal lien on a blighted property in Pine Grove Twp. is forcing the county’s landbank to explore some out-of-the-norm options.

The property is located at 106 Cottage Place and the landbank board discussed the issue on Tuesday.

Landbank Executive Director Pam Matve said that there has been no response from the owner.

And with the federal lien, typical steps that might be taken to go after a blighted property aren’t options without the landbank taking on the lean.

The first alternative was encouraging township officials to fine the owner under a nuisance ordinance but, if the owners don’t pay, the township’s recourse would be adding another lien to the property.

Two other options considered were the possibility of forcing a sheriff’s sale or working with the federal government to have the lien lifted.

Commissioner Dan Glotz said that working with the feds was the route taken several years ago for a blighted warehouse on the cusp of collapse in North Warren. Ultimately, the lien was forgiven, allowing demolition to proceed but Glotz said getting to that point was a “lot of work.”

“If we can get that lifted and off the record, we can really push through,” Matve said.

The landbank also decided to pursue serving notice to the owner of 17 Hall St. via constable or sheriff’s deputy. The board wants a plan for the property and to know whether the owner is interested in donating the parcel to the landbank.


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